Good News For Small Creative Companies

A new study by FunctionFox suggests that an overwhelming majority of small creative companies are looking forward to a growth in 2012. 95% of small creative businesses surveyed, expect to hire new employees or maintain their current staffing levels through the New Year, and the same percentage are also anticipating stable or increased revenues.

The FunctionFox Creative Industry Outlook Survey was designed to ‘take the temperature’ of creative business executives employing 25 or fewer people, as they prepare for 2012. Respondents were asked to answer questions about expected changes in revenue and staffing, and about the challenges and opportunities they anticipate through the year. This is the fourth year that FunctionFox has conducted this survey of creative professionals.

“2011 was a better year for smaller creative companies,” said Mary-Lynn Bellamy-Willms, Founder and CEO of FunctionFox. “Employers were able to build on a solid – and leaner – base established during the tough years following 2008, and made steady gains despite continuing economic challenges. Now they are ready to add staff and expand their businesses.”

Highlights of the 2012 survey (charts available in full survey report here):
•62% of firms expect revenue growth in 2012 – up slightly from 2011’s 60%
•95% expect to maintain current staffing levels or increase their staff in 2012
•Across the continent, small creative companies are expecting a better year in 2012, with every region of the US and Canada expecting to maintain or increase staffing.

Other highlights: Finding staff to keep up with increased workflow and expansion plans presents the most significant challenge small creative companies anticipate in 2012 – a change from previous years, when new business acquisition and attaining profitability were the biggest challenges facing respondents. Creative companies are ready to capitalize on a variety of opportunities in the coming year, including expansion, new business, focused positioning, and the opportunities presented by new media and technology.
•”We’ll be adding staff to grow our services and better serve our clients.”
•”We’re well positioned for bigger clients who are ready to ramp up.”
•”[We’ll be] expanding capabilities by adding talent.”
•”[We’re expanding] into international markets.”

The survey, deployed November 15 through December 14, 2011, was completed by 200 highly targeted professionals in design, advertising, public relations, web and marketing communications in the U.S. and Canada. Respondents were invited to participate by email as part of the November 2011 issue of the FunctionFox About Time Newsletter. The survey was delivered online. Some answers were also broken down by region. (For charts, visit FunctionFox Creative Industry Outlook 2012.) For a copy of the full FunctionFox Creative Industry Outlook for 2012 Report, visit

FunctionFox is the leading provider of time and project tracking software for small creative companies. TimeFox, its web-based timesheet and project management software, is the number one ranked time-tracking system in North America. Graphic design, advertising, communications, marketing, multimedia, public relations, and interactive firms all choose TimeFox as their web-based time and project management application. TimeFox is currently used by thousands of customers in Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.